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Stereo shark broadcasts ready to bite

21 February 2011
Stereo shark broadcasts ready to bite

Live stereo 3D broadcasts for TV and internet of sharks underwater are being readied for launch this spring, writes Adrian Pennington. The project is being led by WildEarth.tv, the same production team behind the launch last year of daily 3D broadcasts on safari.

Currently in test, the idea is to send a team of divers to film sharks in their natural habitat at Alliwal shoal, a 2km reef off the South African coast.

Fourteen hours of footage each week for 26 weeks will be edited into 52 minute episodes called 3D:dive. Two hours of the dive will be broadcast live and daily.

“It’s the only way to bring costs down,” explains Torsten Hoffmann, managing partner of distributor Global Media Consult (GMC). “We could spend $1 million producing a one hour stereo documentary or the same amount to have a much larger resource of raw material from which to make documentary products.”

Stereo versions for side-by-side, 1080i, 720p, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and anaglyph (red/cyan) will be made available. A 90 minute 3D feature with the working title Shark Park will also be produced.

Hoffmann claims to have assembled one of the world’s largest portfolios of 3D content and is “hopeful of a very significant deal” with 3net, the Discovery 3D channel.

“Personally, I think that the ‘lack of 3D content’ is a myth,” says Hoffmann. “We are developing a lot of different formats.”

Its 3D slate includes over 20 $2-5 million features plus 100 hours of factual content. The features are all shot in native 3D and include animated documentary Skies to Eternity, horror films Aggression 3D and Bleeding Heart 3D, Space Zombies 3D and thriller No Way Back 3D.

With WildEarth.tv, GMC also plans a 90 minute 3D feature on the life of baboons in the Djuma game reserve in the greater Kruger National Park.

GMC holds exclusive global distribution rights for WildEarth.tv and is a shareholder in the production company.

The shark production is expected to go live within the month.

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